The changing of the seasons is a very special time for the natural world.
Massive natural changes take place from Winter to Spring, Spring to Summer, Summer to Fall, and from Fall to Winter. These seasonal changes are inevitable and wait for no one.
It is important on the farm to plan ahead, or you’re left behind in the rush to take advantage of the next season.
For example, as summer ends and the first hints of autumn begin we must get ready for the apple and pear harvests. Apples and pears must be picked at just the right time to take advantage of each variety’s ripening dates. Pick too early and we get less juice, and if we pick too late, we throw away too much rotten fruit.
But even before the harvest begins there is a lot to do. We line up our help for the busy harvest season. We inspect and repair the grinding and pressing equipment. We make sure that our measurement devices are calibrated properly. We work on getting our glass and stainless-steel vessels thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. We borrow or buy enough apple crates for our anticipated harvest. We order our fermentation supplies – like organic yeast and yeast nutrients, etc. And finally, I make sure that my old truck and tractor are tuned up and will last the harvest season in good working order.
I make lists to prepare for the each season. My memory is not what it used to be, so lists are a necessity. I don’t want to be caught with ripening fruit begging to be harvested and then discover that I’ve forgotten something essential.
The smell of Autumn is in the air, and the shift from late Summer to Fall has begun. It is a beautiful time of year in the mountains of Virginia! I do pause to enjoy the change of season, but it is more enjoyable when I know that we’re ready for the season ahead.